GS2: London Data Centre Announces Green Initiative
In a press release, LinkedIn post and advertorial piece in DataCentre Magazine, Global Switch (who own and operate the flagship London data centre, GS2) unveiled a blueprint for a greener future at its London campus, and beyond.
Let’s break down the plans – and explain why this is big news.
The Global Switch ESG strategy
ESG compliance in cloud computing is a tough nut to crack; data centres are not only huge power users – the work they do and the people they affect can have a negative societal impact, too. Global Switch’s plans are firmly focused on efficiency and sustainability (in our experience, performance has never been an issue for GS2!) – but they do talk about ESG.
The article (very briefly) touches on “integration with local communities” and putting governance under public scrutiny. While there’s not any information on what that might entail, it’s clear that the focus is on climate change as a frontrunner in the minds of the public and businesses.
100% renewable energy by 2030
Global Switch has committed to using 100% renewable energy at all data centre sites by 2030, and to cutting its carbon footprint across its global portfolio.
As well as other sites, GS2 has run on 100% renewable energy for some years now. But as expansion continues, efficiency and reducing power consumption are critical to keeping the data centre sustainable.
GS2 was built in 1999; several decades on, and numerous expansion later, Global Switch is expanding in London once again to serve more customers – and this has afforded an opportunity for modernisation.
The plan is to redevelop and modernise the existing infrastructure, rather than to start from scratch. This is far more environmentally-friendly, as it generates less waste – but it also allows for scalable, incremental improvement with minimal impact on uptime. The downside? Well, it can take longer to achieve than by building new – but the payoffs are better for the business, the planet, and for customers in the long run.
Legacy cooling system overhaul
A major move at GS2 was the implementation of a FanWall for full room cooling, with no raised floor, for a hyperscale enterprise client. FanWall products are highly efficient water-based air conditioning units, which can rapidly exchange the heat produced in data centres without the need for a raised floor. This can increase density without compromising cooling – and do it more efficiently.
The cooling systems at the whole site are undergoing a major overhaul – in incremental steps. Legacy cooling systems are being replaced with free-cooling chillers, FanWalls – and operating temperatures are being adjusted to reduce power consumption.
Today’s power demands are light years ahead of what they were when Global Switch was born, and have exponentially grown in recent years. 10 kiloWatt racks are not uncommon now – and as reliance on Cloud grows, power demand is set to rise further year-on-year.
Even with 100% renewable energy provision, meeting this demand is going to be tough in the future. Global Switch is preparing now by reviewing efficiency as all sites and investing in low power usage effectiveness (PUE).
E-waste is a scourge which covers every letter of the ESG banner. Environmentally, it is incredibly damaging, leaching pollutants into waterways and destroying air quality. Socially, it exploits low-paid workers and child slavery, exposing them to toxic chemicals that can kill. As for governance – these actions are knowingly carried out with sign-off from top board-level executives, in the name of profit.
Global Switch is pulling away from this narrative by committing to maintaining hardware instead of “recycling” it – alluding to an AI-powered system that will enhance maintenance schedules and keep equipment working for longer.
Exciting stuff, all-round! But why should anyone care?
Why is this big? Because Global Switch is a major player
In a word; leadership.
Since 1998, Global Switch has been a powerhouse in the data centre market, with 13 world-class data centres globally. The company has focused on city centre locations with exceptional connectivity, to serve financial and business districts. It was a smart play that has resulted in incredible financial success, rooted in the company’s reputation for “always on” reliability.
When Global Switch makes a move like this, others will take notice. It is one of the most financially influential players in the data centre market, as well as one of the oldest and most experienced. This is a statement of intent; “we’re going to be here for the long haul”.
Ethical and environment-first investing is no longer a trend – it’s the norm. Investors want to see this kind of thing, because customers are pinning their futures on it. Public opinion on climate action is tense, and Global Switch knows the course to take.
We expect other data centre operators to make similar statements, but Global Switch has given the evidence here. And they’re already 78% of the way there!
Private Cloud Installations at a Premier London Data Centre
Discover best-in-class, fully managed IT solutions – delivered from a world-class data centre. Build a Private Cloud installation at Global Switch 2; London’s most prestigious, resilient and sought-after data centre.
Call us on 01509 80 85 86 or send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More services to help
We offer a comprehensive range of IT services to suit all businesses - from "helpdesk"-style IT support to data centre hosting services.
Your business doesn’t run itself; and neither do its IT systems. From email to Internet, your back-up server to your phone system, you need technology to run smoothly so your business can do the same.
Our scalable private cloud services run on dedicated hardware. You’ll get 24/7 support, total security and lightning-fast speed; all at a fixed, all-inclusive monthly cost.
Our fully managed colocation services make use of data centres across the UK, to securely house your network equipment.